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Now 20 candidates running for 9 seats in Ashland

The deadline to file for city office positions is 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16. So far, there are 20 candidates running for nine positions: municipal court judge, city recorder, four of six seats on City Council and three of five on the Parks and Recreation Commission.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the filings stand as:

Council position No. 2, currently held by Mike Morris, who has filed for reelection. Now challenging him is Theodore White and Tonya Graham. Graham originally filed for position No. 3, but then withdrew.

Council position No. 3., to which Jackie Bachman was appointed by the council after Councilor Greg Lemhouse resigned in February. If he had not resigned, the position would not have been contested until 2020. Bachman and Alfred Willslatter previously filed to appear on the ballot for this seat. They’ve now been joined by Julie Akins. Akins received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Puget Sound in political science. Her experience since then includes serving as an adjunct professor at SOU and as a freelance journalist for the Ashland Daily Tidings.

Council position No. 4, currently held by Stefani Seffinger, who has filed for reelection. Now challenging her is Carol Voisin. Voisin has a bachelor’s degree in psychology/education from Colorado State University, a master’s in theology from ILIFF School of Theology and a terminal degree in systematic theology from Graduate Theological Union. She served on City Council from 2008 to 2016, the Housing Commission from 2003 to 2007 and taught as a senior instructor at SOU.

Council position No. 6 is currently held by Stephen Jensen, who was appointed by the council after Traci Darrow stepped down when she moved outside city limits. He has filed for reelection. Challenging him is George Kramer and Randy Dolinger. Dolinger completed two years at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He’s a writer and a chess teacher.

Parks commissioner No. 3 — Incumbent Michael Gardner is being challenged by Timothy Kelly. Kelly is an accountant who received his bachelor’s degree in accounting at University of Alaska Southeast. He’s served on the Juneau Review Design Board in Juneau, Alaska.

Parks commissioner No. 4 — Jim Bachman, who previously filed, is one of two candidates for the seat currently held by Matt Miller after Howard McEwan withdrew his filing for commissioner position No. 4 and instead filed for position No. 5. Bachman is being challenged by Julian Bell. Bell is a physician who studied at Cornell University from 1990 to 1995, New York Medical College from 1996-2003 and Rush University Medical Center from 2003-2006.

Parks commissioner No. 5 — Incumbent Rick Landt is now challenged by McEwan.

Municipal Court Judge — Incumbent Pamela Turner remains the sole candidate.

City Recorder — Current office holder Melissa Huhtala, who was appointed by the council, remains the sole candidate.

The filing period opened May 30. Filing candidates must be able to prove in their application that they are a registered voter in the state of Oregon and that they are an Ashland resident.

Candidates must complete and file forms with the city recorder. A minimum of 25 valid signatures on a petition must be collected to be placed on the ballot. These signatures must be verified by the County Clerk’s office and approved by the city recorder.

Contact Daily Tidings reporter Caitlin Fowlkes at cfowlkes@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4496. Follow her on Twitter @cfowlkes6.

Tidings file photoKim Keller of Ashland drops off a ballot for a friend in the voting drop behind the Ashland Public Library in 2014.